The term “Affirmative Action” was used over the last decades to suggest that giving preference to one group over another is wrong yet it also undermines that very position by saying that to balance the wrong we will offer a “prejudice and bias” in the other direction as a mid course correction.
Being positive, good, and kind in attitudes, attributions, and actions toward all people regardless of anything about that attitudes, attributions, actions of that person or that group of persons, will eclipse bias and judgment not by random acts of kindness but by perpetual and perennial flowing waters of grace and mercy, from hearts of love for all and peace within.
When during the holiday season many churches read not only the Biblical “Christmas Story” (In three of the four Gospels) but also the resounding context of that story in the heart and mind of God found in the Gospel of John. In John 1, Jesus is not the Babe of Bethlehem but the Lead of God in the person of Christ. Jesus is presented here as the one in whom we beheld the Glory of God: “Full of Grace and Truth”.
Jesus life and ministry and his “lead” as a model for all people of faith to follow was to attribute to all people the truth of divinity and humanity.Divinely speaking, God loves everyone regardless of anything about them, positive or negative. Humanly speaking, God knows all humanity to have both a seed of His goodness, grace and mercy but also a seed of judgment, bias, and prejudice (seeing things the way they see them regardless of how God might see them).
Does it surprise you if you flip pages of New Testament Scripture a few hundred pages to Ephesians 4, you find the expression from Paul to the church geo-communications and eco-compassion: “speak the Truth with Love”. This formula eludes the church and many relationships. People speak their truth, their perceptions as if they are true with egoism, bias and prejudice running the show! Little or no love or grace is present. Whenever Jesus speaks “Truth” he always speeaks that Truth with the Comapssion of Grace not the harshness of “I am Right”. For God the lead is that being right in judgment is less Godly than being “right in your heart of Grace” toward all regardless of anything. Maybe this iss why John 3:16 is probably the most often quoted and known biblical verse and yeat the least follwoed as a motto and model for humanity.
Leading with”Truth and Grace” is to be affirming of the seed of goodness in all without ignoring the seed of humanity in all as well.
Be affirming in your attitudes, attributions, and actions toward all not because they deserve it but because you didn’t deserve it yet received that form God.
Affirmative action produces Righteous relationships.
Happy New Year. Imagine 2000 plus years ago as the excitement of Christmas faded and May Joseph and Jesus prepared to leave for Egypt the talk around the little town of Bethlehem was “no doubt” still even with all the excitement of Christmas (excitement fades quickly in the presence of a suspicious, bias, prejudice, and judgment).
When the dust of divine celebration settles the judgment of human criticism overtakes. They were fleeing to Egypt to avoid the judgment of humanity. The human narrative outweighs the divine dream narrative.
This is so true in our day. People are slow to grace and mercy and quick to human narratives of bias and prejudice.
Will you consider making a commitment (Not a New Year’s Resolution) to extending “grace and mercy” to all people and expunging from your narrative bias and prejudice (even if you think your narrative is correct, can you suspend a right narrative – in your mind – in favor of a narrative of grace and mercy! What a difference that will make in your world as it is “loving the world as God loves the world”
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